In Stage 2 we have been building our knowledge of scientific principles. The learner profile of knowledgeable requires our boys to explore concepts and ideas. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
We are currently building our knowledge of the scientific principles of gravity, friction and magnetism, as well as exploring how a scientist works to find answers.
The concept that challenged the boys thinking the most was – that every object falls to earth at the same speed.
“No it doesn’t!”
“Things definitely fall faster if they are heavier”
The disagreement of the boys rung through both the Year 3 and Year 4 classrooms. Through researching the relationship between gravity and our atmosphere through a variety of sources, the boys built their knowledge of how air resistance allows falling objects to defy gravity (at least for a moment).
The spark was set, defy gravity by building a system to reduce the speed at which a bead drops.
Our next step was to discover and learn from existing technologies that reduce the speed of falling objects by harnessing air resistance or pushing in the opposite way. Our thinking included
- Hand gliders
- Jet packs
- Helium balloons
The boys imagined a multitude of systems that would allow the bead to defy gravity using the materials available from our Design Thinking cupboards. Unfortunately, we were unable to provide rocket boosters that left a few boys disappointed.
In pairs the boys explored their system design, by prototyping, testing and redesigning, as many times as possible in the allotted time. We spent the morning dropping beads off Mr Cs balcony and recording our times. The most successful design was also one of our most simple, a plastic shopping bag, which caught a lucky gust of wind and defied gravity for 10.52 seconds!
Carol Peterson – Year 3 Teacher